My late father Ben gave on me countless years of advice and wisdom. I hear his voice and the words allow my actions and decisions throughout my life.
The night before I left home to venture off to a new life and career to work for Bloomingdale’s in New York City as a member of their Executive Training Program, my father sat me down and gave me parting words of advice, “Judy, there will be days you will love it, and days that you will hate it, but you must roll with the punches.”
Young, naïve, and aspirations to set the world on fire, I heeded these words. Devastated when a promotion I was certain to receive did not materialize, or when offered the exciting opportunity to move to Washington, DC, and the time I wanted to throw in the towel and quit after the death of my sister Jane, I tried to hear Ben Lipson’s words.
My nature did not always allow me the freedom to roll with the punches. Too sensitive, I take things personally. Often emotional and crying, my father there, a phone call away, cheering me on.
I left Bloomingdale’s in New York, and an offer to return after fifteen years materialized. Do I return in a support position not an executive position? Torn with whether to return to the store I had fond memories, and my life at a different point, I discussed the options with my father.
“Judy, I’ve learned two things in business, go with your instinct, and take a risk.”
I listened and remained at Bloomingdale’s for ten years. The opportunity proved to be the perfect fit as a single mother raising two daughters.
Naturally, I’ve made mistakes throughout my life. We all have and that is how we grow and learn. Despite the best guidance, we can steer on the wrong path.
One of our favorite Ben Lipson sayings to comfort in many times of upset, “Let not your heart be troubled,” or “this too shall pass.” How many times do we repeat these words of wisdom of Ben Lipson? Words that comfort me, my daughters, my grandchildren and hopes to keep his legacy alive.
I am grateful for his words and miss his daily calls. When my daughters ask my opinion, I can hear my father’s voice in my head and I often say, “this is what your Papa would say.” I will never be as wise or own such coin phrases of wisdom. I am left with the gift of the special man, my father.
Judy Lipson, is the Founder of Celebration of Sisters, an ice skating fundraiser established in 2011 to commemorate the memories of her beloved sisters to benefit Massachusetts General Hospital. Judy has published articles for The Open to Hope Foundation and The Centering Organization. Massachusetts General Hospital and SKATING Magazine featured numerous pieces on Judy’s philanthropic work. Judy appeared as a guest on The Open To Hope and The Morning Glory Podcasts. Her passion for figure skating secured the recipient of U.S. Figure Skating Association 2020 Get Up Award. Judy’s memoir, Celebration of Sisters: It Is Never Too Late To Grieve, released December 2021 by WriteLife Publishing.